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Financial Markets and Planning

Course, Subject

Social Studies, Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Commencement, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade


  • Students' plans are evaluated on basis of established rubric.
  • Teacher evaluates class participation.


John D. Caminiti, Broome-Delaware-Tioga BOCES/ Binghamton


3–5 days



Students will gain valuable life skills in financial markets and planning as they develop an awareness of the United States economy.


  • Teacher, financial planner, financial reporter, or representative from the business school of a local university speaks to the class on the importance of understanding the financial markets and developing a financial plan for the future.
  • Students are presented with definitions and information regarding:
    • Credit and credit ratings
    • Standard & Poor's 500
    • Mutual funds
    • Insurance
    • Savings
    • Interest Rates (both borrowing and investing)
    • The Dow Jones industrial average
  • Teacher or speaker explains the financial advantages/disadvantages, and relative risks, of the different investment formats, and discusses the difference between long-term and short-term investment.
  • Students access numerous, related websites and various resources (e.g., magazines, newspapers) reinforcing definitions previously discussed.
  • Students are taught how to invest and how to check on gains or losses.
  • Each student is “given” a set amount of money to invest and develops a financial plan. The status of each student's account is checked weekly, and each student maintains a spreadsheet of his “investments.”
  • At the end of the semester or year, each student reevaluates his/her plan and has the opportunity to make adjustments.
  • Each student submits a report of the gains/losses and explains why adjustments were made.
  • Students discuss insights they gained from the experience.


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Research resources (e.g., newspapers, magazines, books)


  • This lesson generates genuine student interest and teaches skills that will have lifetime benefits.
  • Students can be encouraged to share their acquired knowledge with family members or friends.
  • Regular discussions, focusing on the daily changes that occur in financial markets, can be held.
  • Students should be led to understand that their personal financial plans are dynamic and should change frequently.


Caminiti, John. “Financial Markets and Planning.” In Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Resource Guide with Core Curriculum. New York State Department of Education, 198.

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